New frontiers driving oil/gas asset deals -study

* Chinese oil companies expanded in Americas in 2010

* Canadian oil sands deals triple, tight gas deals double

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 3 (BestGrowthStock) – A push by state oil
companies to secure resources and a surge in “unconventional”
hydrocarbon investments drove oil and gas asset acquisitions to
a new worldwide record in 2010, a report out on Monday said.

There was a near doubling of asset deals focused on tight
gas last year, while the value of transactions involving the
Canadian oil sands more than tripled, according to preliminary
results from the IHS Herold 2011 Global Upstream M&A Review.

A big theme was the emergence of Latin America, where total
deal value soared to $29 billion, fueled by Chinese companies
such as CNOOC (0883.HK: ) and Sinopec Corp (0386.HK: ) expanding
their footprints in the Americas, IHS said.

Worldwide transactions involving “upstream” oil and gas
assets reached a record $107 billion in 2010, representing a
160 percent increase above the figure for 2009, IHS reported.

Asset transaction values more than doubled to $59 billion
in North America, dominated by shale resource investment.

“Continued low North American natural gas prices provided
attractive opportunities for well-financed new entrants to
invest in shale and tight sands plays,” said Christopher
Sheehan, IHS’s director of M&A research.

He said the sustained strength in oil prices also
underpinned the overall growth in deals, along with the quality
of assets on offer thanks to restructurings by BP Plc (BP.L: ),
ConocoPhillips (COP.N: ), Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: ) and Devon
Energy Corp. (DVN.N: )

In the Asia-Pacific region, the total value of transactions
more than tripled to $18 billion, while activity was flat or
lower in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet
Union, the report found.
(Reporting by Braden Reddall, editing by Matthew Lewis)

New frontiers driving oil/gas asset deals -study